Pet Care

July 27, 2020

The statewide impact of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order issued on March 23 is undeniable. Though some were able to revel in the fact that working from home meant more time with furry friends, owners of animal-based businesses were hard at work trying to adapt.

Karen Stalnaker, owner of Karen’s K-9 Klips at 3499 Route 59, has groomed dogs for about 41 years, 22 of those at her current location in Ravenna. She mainly sees clients from Ravenna and Kent but regulars have traveled to her from as far as Solon.

Stalnaker said she was forced to close her business from early April to about mid-May. After those six weeks, she “had a mess” when doors reopened.

“My dogs were all real long and late,” she said. “Some people tried to clip their own dogs. Oh my goodness, I had to straighten out messes.”

Aside from the time her business was required to close its doors, Stalnaker said COVID-19 has not otherwise disrupted her business. For a while, she needed a friend to help her bathe the dogs in order to catch up with her client’s demand. Only recently has she reached a point where workflow has returned to normal. Typically, she grooms seven to eight dogs a day.

Because she is the only permanent employee, Stalnaker said not much foot traffic goes in and out of her business. Contact is also minimized by the crate system she uses for pet pick up and drop off. Customers place their dogs in one of the crates set up in the lobby. Stalnaker places them back there once grooming is complete. Sanitizer is also set up around the space and customers have to wear masks when in the building.

Stalnaker said her biggest concern is being forced to close again. Should another statewide shutdown occur, she is an advocate for pet grooming to be classified as an essential service. Her reasoning for such was based on the comfort of the dog. Without proper grooming, fur becomes matted and toenails become overgrown.

Nancy Brown, the “alpha dog” at Double Dog Day Care at 3770 Fishcreek Road, referred to her business as “niche.” The Stow-based facility offers dog daycare but not overnight kenneling. Grooming and in-home pet care services are also available. Though clients typically utilize the latter during vacations or long work days, home visits have sharply declined since the statewide shutdown earlier this year.

A typical day used to mean 15 to 20 in-home visits. Brown said business has largely returned to normal.

Double Dog shuttered its doors from late March to mid-May. Despite the temporary closure, the daycare aspect of the business has seen numbers typical for the summertime. Brown explained that summer is not a popular time for dog day care services because pet owners are home, the weather is decent and dogs are able to play outside.

The busiest time tends to fall around January, February and March. In fact, she said, the first quarter of 2019 was the best ever for Double Dog since it opened in January 2011. Brown said she accepted there was a real possibility that her business may not have survived the shutdown. She considers herself fortunate.

Brown’s business has been impacted by the fact that people are working from home and they’re not traveling as much. Still, she said, the need for a dog day care service is there. When her business reopened, all of her regulars returned, she said. Though most were working from home still, they wanted their dogs to attend daycare at least three days a week.

Customers have been mindful of social distancing while dropping off and picking up pets. Double Dog has always kept its space clean, Brown said, but staff is even more mindful of cleaning even the surfaces they lean on. High-contact surfaces such as phones and doorknobs are also wiped down several times a day. Staff also follows safety protocols such as taking temperatures, wearing masks and washing hands.

“We don’t have the dogs wearing masks,” Brown joked.

Memorial Animal Hospital at 2222 Route 59 in Franklin Township, like other veterinary businesses, remained open throughout the shutdown. However, for about two months, it was only able to provide emergency and illness-related medicine, according to Jason Beutel, who manages the practice. Those restrictions lasted from mid-March to the end of May. During that time, the hospital stopped providing wellness visits.

No clients are allowed in the building with the exception of end-of-life discussions and procedures, Beutel explained. For all other services, workflow has been slowed because business has been largely conducted by phone.

Clients call reception from the parking lot and a veterinary assistant writes down the animal’s history before collecting the pet from the parking lot. Doctors then typically call the client to relay information and decide the next course of action. Once everything is done, the pet is returned and payment information is taken over the phone.

The Bed and Biscuit, the hospital’s boarding service, has been far more impacted by the pandemic, Beutel said. There were times when it went weeks without seeing an animal. Part-time workers were laid off and full-time workers were reduced to part-time. Employees at the veterinary practice were also impacted by the decreased demand for staff.

Both have since largely returned to full staffing, Beutel said.

Beutel said he does not think pet owners are delaying routine care. In fact, Memorial Animal Hospital is working through a backlog of clients. People want to bring their animals in while they do not have to maneuver around work schedules, he said.

“All of the local veterinarians are doing the best they can to be there for when they’re needed for either illness or wellness visits,” Beutel said. “A lot of people have been very understanding and patient of the changes in the routines of what veterinarians have had to go through.”

  • Most Recent News

    Big Dogs Need Owners

    October 9, 2020

    When the shutdown orders took full effect, it became nearly impossible to find a small dog available for adoption as Southlanders sought furry companions. In many Southland shelters, only larger breeds remained available for adoption. Now Los Angeles Animal Service is touting the joys of big dogs while offering discounted adoption fees for larger breeds […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Service Dog In The Marching Band

    October 9, 2020

    In a year that is anything but normal, the Jones College Maroon Typhoon Marching Band has welcomed its first known service dog member this fall. Laurie, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is baritone saxophone player Sara-Beth McKellar’s service dog. The Vicksburg native was diagnosed with epilepsy as a sophomore in high school after her first seizure. […]

    Read more

    Church Blesses Animals

    October 9, 2020

    St. Mary’s Church of the Immaculate Conception in Port Jervis hosted a special outdoor service last Sunday afternoon to bless the community’s pets, animals and other living creatures. In keeping with current pandemic rules, pet owners wore masks, remained distant, and took part in praying for dogs, cats, turtles, and other pets and animals around […]

    Read more

    Police Welcomes New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    Young Kingston Police service dog Bask may look small, but his handler says his training and energy are proving that he’s up to fill the shoes of his predecessor. “I think he’s going to be a great little dog,” Const. Jeff Dickson said, looking down at his new partner. A partner that, wearing the right […]

    Read more

    Dog Park For Travelers

    October 9, 2020

    St. Petersburg is widely recognized as a dog-friendly city, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is making sure its four-legged visitors and their humans feel welcome by rolling out the artificial turf carpet. With the completion of the airport’s parking and roadway project – part of a series of multi-million dollar improvements at the airport over the […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    Pet Therapy Program

    October 9, 2020

    Saturday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, which this year has a new sense of urgency for many. Covid-19 has taken a mental and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the U.S but there is a program boosting the spirits of doctors and nurses on the frontlines. At UC Irvine Medical Center in Southern […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    Dog Beating Cancer

    October 9, 2020

    A little over a year after a local dog was given only a few months to live after being diagnosed with bone cancer, she is still in remission and will be celebrated her twelfth birthday this month. Cocoa has been with her owner, Bucyrus resident Christie Auck, since she was nine-weeks-old. “On Aug. 18, 2019, […]

    Read more

    More Recent News